The deregulation before deregulation

We are where we are, don't like it so some soul searching is in order. Thomas Geoghegan, a Chicago (labor) lawyer, takes a historical detour to search for the root causes of today's situation beyond the deregulation of the last decade or so. In a recent Harper's article “Infinite Debt: How Unlimited Interest Rates Destroyed the Economy,” Geoghehan is looking at:
  1. Interest rates deregulation--worth mentioning is that both Adams Smith and JM Keynes were in favor of capping interest rates, for otherwise, in addition to hurting the masses, capital flees from production to banking due to higher rates of return;
  2. Weakening of labor unions, which in turn led to lower negotiating power for skilled labor--as the author puts it, the side effect was that union cards were replaced by credit cards;
  3. The ability of corporations to eliminate contractual employee-liabilities (read pensions and health-care obligations) through Chapter 11 reorganization.

Following is a Democracy Now! interview where the main points in the article and suggestions for the future are provided:

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